Spotlight on one of our NoHo creative professionals

Well in NoHo we say if you work with artists then you got to be one, too.

The NoHo Arts District dot Com team likes to feature the fun, unique and creative lives of the folks that live and work in our one-square mile community. You may have read our posts on the fabulous senior artists of all genres at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony (NoHO SAC). But we have never written one on an employee, one who helps make this North Hollywood venue a vibrant place to be, either as a resident or a visitor appreciating the art they create. Meet Amanda Talbot, the Creative Programs Director at engAGE – The Art of Active Aging – the folks responsible for developing senior arts colonies. She is part of a two-woman British Improv group called London Calling. Their next show is Thursday, May 21 and will feature local NoHo SAC resident Carol Egen.

NoHo Senior Arts Colony

Who/What is London Calling?

London Calling is a two-woman, British Improv group. It consists of me, Amanda Jane Talbot, and British actress Leila Birch.


When did you start London Calling and why?

Leila and I met at Second City Training Center in Hollywood, were we both graduated from their Conservatory Program. We found out that we had a lot of things in common and were both members of BAFTA. One of the things we had in common was that we had not exclusively improvised with fellow Brits. Therefore a four man group called The London Underground was formed but a couple of members left which left just the two of us.We created London Calling and made it our mission to bring British Pub theatre to Los Angeles. The Pikey Pub on Sunset in Hollywood heard what we were doing and offered us a plcae to hold our monthly “A Blimey Limey Night of Jolly Good Comedy” gig at. We hope eventually to take our comedy variety show to other venues outside of Hollywood. Every month we have guest come and perform with us. We usually have a musical comedy act followed by a stand-up – but nothing is set in stone.

NoHo Senior Arts Colony www.nohoartsdistrict.comThis week you have NoHo SAC resident Carol Egen in your show. Tell us more about her and why you chose her?

Carol Egen is a resident at NoHoSAC. She is an actress and a stand up comedian who performs around Los Angeles. She is a very funny woman. Like all good British films we love to have American performers play with us too and thought it would be fun to let Carol perform at one of our shows. Because we are British we bring a different style of comedy to Los Angeles and that is the same for Carol. With her being older she has a great perspective on life that many younger comics know nothing about.

What is your role at NoHo SAC?

I am the Creative Programs Director. I work for a non-profit called EngAGE. Their mission is to provide life-enhancing creativity, wellness, educational, inter-generational and community building programs and events to seniors living in senior apartment communities. That being said each building has a different vibe depending on it’s population. I have worked at other EngAGE properties and each has it’s unique character. Therefore it is my job to create and develop unique educational/creative programs for the NoHo Senior Arts Colony. By hiring teachers, volunteers, performers and working collaboratively with the people living there, focusing on the needs of the community, I strive to in turn NoHoSAC into a unique place to live. The world of senior living is changing and I want to reflect that. In musical terms today’s “Seniors” (a label I loathe, by the way) today range form the world of Punk to The Rolling Stones to BB. King and all that falls inbetween. I am also the curator of The Gallery@NoHoSAC and host, produce promotional material, and design the art show layouts of the professional artists that exhibit there.

Why do you find working at NoHo SAC rewarding?

Yes. It is very rewarding to see people transform into the person they want to be in life NOW. It is wonderful to see people becoming empowered through the arts and gain the confidence to live their dreams. People who never thought of themselves as being creative are now having the confidence to show their skills to the world. I feel very honored to be a small part of their journey. I also find it educational myself. Listening to the experiences of those that live in EngAGE properties is a treasured experience that I wish others would take advantage of. These are people that have lived through The great depression, World Wars, Civil-Rights movements, The Cuban Missile Crisis, The birth of Rock’nRoll, Woodstock, The Hippie movement, Punk and so much more. All have stories and lessons we could learn fro today.

Look out for more posts on the art being created at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony.

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